The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Elizabeth Afoley Oquaye has said that fishermen whose who may suffer the direct impact of the ban on fishing to seek financial aid from their district assemblies.
She said the fishermen could seek support from Assembly’s revenue from premix fuel.
According to her, the move should ease the fears expressed by fishermen over the possible impact of the closed season on their lives.
Some fishermen in Jamestown in Accra, Axim, Dixcove and Elmina in the Western and Central Regions have expressed worry over the short notice from the ministry.
They say the timing of the closed season would affect that their livelihoods.
But, speaking after a stakeholder engagement in Takoradi in the Western Region, Mrs. Afoley Oquaye said fishermen whose livelihoods will be affected by the ban could resort to proceeds from the sale of premix fuel in their respective landing beach accounts at the district assemblies.
She said “In the current arrangement with the sale of premix fuel, the some of the proceeds are saved at a bank. It is not all the fishermen that are saying they need livelihood support ahead of the ban. But those fishermen who need the compensation, [in landing beaches which will require the compensation], we are pleading that they present their bank financial status to their respective District Chief Executives.”
“They should tell the DCEs that we have this amount of money sitting in our accounts; we also know those who are fishermen in our landing beaches, we want to withdraw a certain amount and share among ourselves. The DCE or Municipal Chief Executive should approve the withdrawal, so you share the monies among yourselves, so every fisherman benefits from it.”
Mrs. Afoley Quaye believes the move should see an end to the livelihood agitations towards the ban, and pave the way for the successful implementation of the closed season.
In the meantime, Mrs. Afoley Oquaye is interacting with fisher folks in some landing beaches to embrace the closed season as “it will help restock our dwindling fish stock.”